In this issue we have a special feature on Eric Rohmer, whose film Autumn Tale opened recently in Melbourne, and, who, as it happens, just turned 80 (on April 4th). In an interview with his editor of the past 10 years, Mary Stephen, it is revealed that he is far from slowing down, and that, curiously, his next feature is to be shot on digital video. In the ’50s and ’60s, Rohmer would literally scrape productions together, using friends and borrowed equipment. We are delighted to see that he has lost none of that youthful spirit that so characterised the Nouvelle Vague back at that time. He still makes films cheaply, and in his own unique way. He is a total inspiration.
Also in this issue, as well as a host of other featured articles (on films as diverse as Holy Smoke, Words and Silk, Tombstone for Fireflies, Four Nights of a Dreamer, Rebel Without a Cause, amongst others), and the continuation of the special “Cinephilia” feature Permanent Ghosts, we present a series of papers given at two film theory conferences which took place during the last month. (The Society for Cinema Studies Conference 2000, Chicago, March 9-12; and the Special Effects/Special Affects:Technologies of the Screen Symposium, Melbourne, March 25.) Conferences are often platforms for new ideas and directions in film criticism and theory, current debates or latest discoveries on a specific topic. We have sought to publish select conference papers because we believe they are valuable beyond their life as “papers” in the context of academia. In this issue, there are papers by such esteemed writers and thinkers as Gilberto Perez, Vivian Sobchack, James Naremore and Adrian Martin.
In this issue, we also present our first book reviews. One is a review of Melbourne-based Ken Mogg’s The Alfred Hitchcock Story by American Cahiers correspondent, Bill Krohn. The other is an articulate and revealing review by M. C. Zenner of the legendary James Baldwin’s only book on film, The Devil Finds Work.
Finally, we are pleased to announce that from now on, Senses of Cinema will be publishing the Annotations for films screened at the Melbourne Cinémathèque. At the start of each month, there will be annotations for most of the films playing during that month. These annotations have been published by the magazine Metro in the past few years.
It is our aim to make this journal as vital and varied as possible. From next month, we will begin having reports from film festivals from around the globe.
For the moment, though, we hope you enjoy this bumper issue!